Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Brave Arctic Fox and the Young Polar Bear

One morning we came across a young polar bear who was digging and eating something out of the ice.  There are small fish that actually freeze over the winter and then thaw back out and keep swimming in the spring.  Perhaps the bear was after one of those in the newly formed ice.  In any event, he or she was busy for some time digging at the ice.

Across the pond there came a very small, very cute, little white Arctic fox.  About the size of a housecat, the fox came up on the bear from downwind.  When the bear looked up and saw the fox approaching, to everyone's surprise, it ran off.  The fox immediately began to eat whatever the bear was after.  The bear seemed to have second thoughts after looking back and seeing the small fox, so it circled around in a large arc, taking time to roll on the ice a bit, and then re-possessed the meal.  The fox didn't just leave though - it stayed and came closer several times so the bear kept having to defend it's spot.

The fox was sooooooo cute.  It scampered about, it's tail was always blowing in the wind, and it was a very clever little creature.  I was thrilled not only to see an Arctic fox in the wild, but to see one interacting with a wild polar bear as well!  It was my trip highlight!  We stayed with them about 30 minutes, which I will certainly never forget!

In these photos, the fox is in the lower right corner, looking at the bear.

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